Is Polygamy Really African? The Real Tradition

Listen Siblings,

“Judge by cause, not effect.”KMT Proverb

Knobeco, myself and a talkative forty-year-old from Mali stood on the corner of a Bronx street.

I had known the man from past encounters though this time his wife was not with him. He was railing against “American media” and its absence of critiques on Western Exploitation in Africa. Not entirely interested, I discerned a pregnant woman in a blue and yellow dress walking with enough cheap groceries to feed three families.

“One moment,” I held up my hand, excusing myself.

The Malian placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “Let the bitch walk.”

I shook him off and reaching her offered Knobeco’s and my assistance. The woman had very soft features and a very small frame, she looked between twenty and twenty-five, but she declined the assistance in a freshly foreign accent. I noticed that she reached her decision by looking at the Malian.

It was revealed, after further prying, that she was his third-wife, accepting of this polygamy and abuse in the name of Islam. Like other Africans, though recognizing her Muslim practice, she conceived polygamy as African. The truth is that it isn’t.

What’s sad about this ignorance is how common it is even in Africa. What’s more, the ignorance has less to do with Europeans and more to do with Asians, the first corrupters of African Psychology.

Even Africa is behind on the times. Even Africa is ignorant on the traditions of Africa. This is the generation in which we live. We build African Blood Siblings Community Centers to educate on African Psychology, among other necessary fields. Your writing the ABS can make the difference between an African culture going extinct or going mainstream. Today over 90% of Africa is either Muslim or Christiain and more than 99% of African people wrongly believe that Polygamy is African. Think on that. Subscribe, share, love.

Is Polygamy Really African?  The Real Tradition
By Onitaset Kumat

Is Polygamy really African? No. The world has over 99% of African people believing that their ancestors were polygamous for eons on end, but the reality is otherwise. Wikipedia, one of the worst websites ever, where uninformed people divvy information under the guise of being informed, deceives readers into believing Polygamy is a universal experience in Africa. Young people on the continent adhere to this belief. Many Africans today suffer from this anti-traditional practice. The question is–how do we know that Polygamy is not African? The answer is “The Cultural Unity of Black Africa” by Cheikh Anta Diop (pronounced “Jop”).

In this excerpt from Page 114 of “The Cultural Unity of Black Africa,” focus on the bold parts,

[B]ut monogamy was the rule at the level of the mass of the people, particularly in Africa. In so far as Africa is considered to be the land of polygamy, it is important to emphasize this fact. In sculptural and pictorial representations, the monogamy of the people is proved by the numerous couples depicted.

“It seems that this was so in all Africa during the late Middle Ages, until the tenth century, which marks the extension of Islam to the native populations, through the Almoravidians. Polygamy tended in this way to become general, without ever ceasing to be a sign of social rank. Thus, it is not rare to see members of the lower classes who, seeking to deceive themselves about their own social rank, marry several wives.

“It is to these notes about polygamy that it is proper to connect the study of what has been called the ill-treatment of African women. Once again, it is the matriarchal conception which will enlighten us in an intelligible fashion regarding the facts. It implies, indeed, a relatively rigid dualism in the daily life of each sex.  The socially admitted division of labour reserves to the man the tasks involving risks, power, force, and endurance; if, as a result of a changed situation due to the intervention of some outside factor – cessation of a state of war, etc . . . the tasks of a man came to be whittled down, so much the worse for the woman; she would nonetheless continue to carry out the household duties and others reserved to her by society. For the man could not relieve her of this without losing prestige in the eyes of all. It is in fact unthinkable, for example, than an African should share a feminine task with his wife, such as cooking or washing clothes or rearing children, any European influence, of course, being disregarded. The dimunition of the tasks of the man comes from the suppression of national sovereignties which causes the disappearing of a large fraction of the tasks of responsibility. This dimunition can also be seasonal, as a function of cultivation and the harvests; in tropical countries, at two seasons of the year, during the long dry period, involuntary unemployment is frequent among men, whom the feeble economic activity of the country is unable to occupy. In the fields it is the husband who digs the land and the wife who sows. At the time of harvest, it is the husband who uproots the peanuts, for example, and the wife who gathers them. In reality, rural preoccupations are far from being so rigid, and it is not rare to find a woman doing certain tasks which are not very arduous, such as cultivating the soil. But it can certainly be confirmed that the position of the man in this work is superior to that of his wife. Most often she prepares the food and brings it to the fields, while her husband works. The European travellers who crossed Africa like meteors often brought back piteous, striking descriptions of the fate of these poor women, who were made to work by their husbands, while the latter rested in the shade. In contrast, the Europeans who have visited Africa and stayed there for a greater or lesser period of time, are not sorry for the African women: they find them very happy.

Moreover this situation has been unchanged since ancient times: the couples to be seen on the African monuments of Egypt are united by a tenderness, a friendship, an intimate common life–the likes of which is not to be found in the Eurasian world of this period: Greece, Rome, Asia. This fact, in itself, would tend to prove that Ancient Egypt was not Semitic: in the Semitic tradition, the history of the world begins with the fall of man, his ruin being caused by a woman (the myth of Adam and Eve). In ancient Egypt and the remainder of Black Africa, in every age — except for some slight Arab influence — the isolation of women under the supervision of eunuchs, a practice so typically Eurasian, is absolutely unknown.”

Some of this text teaches you about traditional gender roles, but the bold informs you very clearly that polygamy is not an African custom. So, when Wikipedia reads:

Polygamy existed all over Africa as an aspect of culture or/and religion. Plural marriages have been more common than not in the history of Africa. . . . It was only during the colonial era that plural marriage was perceived as taboo. . . . Polygamy is very common in West Africa. However, the diffusion of Islam to this region has decreased the prevalence of polygamy in this region, due to restrictions on number of wives.[77][78]

Beyond the ‘commonality,’ it is 100% false, fitting the old adage, “How do you know when a White man is lying? (Pause) If his mouth is moving.”

More, it’s shown that the young African woman who writes,

Polygamy in Africa is a cultural practice that has been deeply rooted in the African Tradition for eons. . . .
Polygamy in Africa has been a cultural and/or a traditional practice for a very long time. Although some cultures, due to a level of westernization of religion will only look at it as old relic and outdated practice, it is still highly practiced in some societies and cultures.”

Is confused on our culture as well.

The New York Times contributes to this lie. When confronted with Islamic abuses on women, like genital cutting and domestic violence, the New York Times squeezes in this,

Islam is often cited as the authority that allows polygamy. But in Africa, the practice is a cultural tradition that crosses religious lines, while some Muslim lands elsewhere sharply restrict it.

The great irony of this whole debate is that not only is Monogamy African, but Monogamy is strictly African. The Asians, we know, practice Polygyny, and a cursory study of European societies will inform you that the European actually practices Polyandry. Anyone acquainted with “White” women know that they have many multiples of sexual partners; in modern times there are prostitutes, porn stars, cuckolding, “mandingo parties,” orgies, “rent-a-rasta,” swinging and a bevvy of other non-monogamous practices which go back to their ancient times. Less common today, though ancient and assuredly theirs, is their practice of brothers sharing wives to assure their lineage continues.

This means that the “Christian” “White” woman oppresses herself by resisting affairs just as some Radical Feminists would rightly attest. This also means that the Muslim African oppresses himself or herself by engaging in Polygamy. Everyone’s aim is to go according to their respective nature. Monogamy and Complementarity is our African nature and our marker on World Civilization. Let the debate end. Is Polygamy really African? No, but Monogamy is.

25 thoughts on “Is Polygamy Really African? The Real Tradition

    1. Seeker,

      What reveals itself to me ceases to be mysterious—for me alone: if I unveil it to anyone else, he hears mere words which betray the living sense: Profanation, but never revelation.

      Tell me your experiences with Polygamy and Monogamy. For example, are you familiar with the Spiritual Systems of Africa? Have you seen how each Spirit, Deity or God has a counterpart of the opposite gender or is Masculine and Feminine in one form? Are you familiar with the art works of Africa? Do you see how man and woman are balanced in each depiction that’s distant and untainted by Asian (Arabic) influences? Are you familiar with Manhood and Womanhood initiations? Where Men and Women are trained to make good Husbands and good Wives for Women and Men, respectively? Where Gender Parity and Balance is infused into the cultural ethos? Are you familiar with indigenous life? Where Men contribute to society in Brotherhood and Women contribute to society in Sisterhood and the two are complementary, no room for anything short of a heterosexual monogamous relationship? If so, the effect is already revealed to you. You need only reflect.

      HTP (Peace)

      1. I hate to tell you this, Onitaset, but, contrary to the historical revisionist ideologies that many pro-African groups, both in the USA and internationally, say, we, as in ALL humans, derive from Middle Eastern origins, thus since ACTUAL science, history, archaeology, genetics, and biology ALL say that we come from that part of the world, the African culture is merely an extension of Middle Eastern culture, as are all other cultures worldwide. However, this is NOT being pro-Arabic, pro-Muslim, or pro-Middle Eastern in culture, but, rather, it is merely saying actual biological, historical, archaeological, genetic, and scientific facts. I do lay claim to there only being ONE race and that race is the HUMAN race and anyone, and I DO mean ANYONE, that says otherwise, is of Lucifer, period, full stop.

  1. Very good article that helps dispels the notion or fiction that monogamy is un-African import from the Western imperialism. Most Africans believe that polygamy originated in Africa and that this was exported to found other polygamous societies. I think there is a clear link or connection to African matriarchy and monogamy and global north patriarchy and polygamy, My research in this area seems to support the observation that the African autochthon and their autochthonous societies such as the Aka, Efé, Mbuti.and the San are matriarchal where monogamy is the norm. .

  2. But I think in America polygamy could help the black family, cause like we see today black women outnumber black men and how the economic condition is for black people, so I say why not, I know some black women in their 40s who have been single for 10 plus years because of unreal standards to the point that things have changed so much since they were in the game that they would be eaten alive an heart broken, because times have changed, u have older men trying to emulate the young and its a hyper sexual culture these days, In the perfect situation I think I would want 2 wives, because I want a lot of kids, kids are the future an if us black people don’t start teaching them the right way the game is almost over.

    When most men think polygamy they think sex and dominance, thats not my case, I think Polygamy will be a key to survival if things get really bad.

    1. Peace,

      What makes things good is Balance and what makes things bad is Imbalance. Men have a Masculine Energy and women have a Feminine Energy. These two need to be Balanced which is impractical in a Polygamous situation. It’s not about having kids as much as it’s about welcoming a new generation of Ancestors. You and I are return Ancestors. So are the women of our Race. Our Ancestors must return to their Ancestral Customs otherwise we will mess up their return and possibly doom their prospects in this plane of existence. We need Balance–Maat–or we have Imbalance–Isfet.

  3. Just one thing as to this passage:

    “and a cursory study of European societies will inform you that the European actually practices Polyandry. Anyone acquainted with “White” women know that they have many multiples of sexual partners”

    I am afraid there is a huge misunderstanding with regard to this point. Poligamy is “The practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time” (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/it/definizione/inglese_americano/polygamy) not having sexual relationships with more partners contempouraneously.

    By far, poligamy is illegal pretty much everywhere in Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_polygamy#Europe)

    1. Peace,

      In Ancient times, Europeans didn’t even have institutions of marriage. Yet the Brothers of a Husband would procreate with their Brother’s Wife, in order to ensure the Patrilineal Line. This is “Polygamy” whether or not ‘marriage’ is involved, as technically the woman would have multiple husbands.

      Today “polygamy” is “illegal” but ‘de jure’ and ‘de facto’ are two separate concepts. By law, pedophilia is illegal, but as a practice, child raping as performed by Europeans is extraordinarily high. So is rape, murder, prostitution, animalia and homosexuality.

      It’s high time we stop listening to what Europeans say and looking at what they do. “Murder is illegal” but take that with a grain of salt. Europeans are the biggest mass murderers in the history of the world. “Oxford” will call “Genocide” different from “Murder.” But know for yourself that ‘rhetoric’ is a tool for influence.

      “Polygamy” is de jure “illegal” but de facto prevalent.

  4. Thank you for reminding me of who is behind all of this. The pale face men have been terrorizing the world and turning ancient cultures upside down. I did think polygamy was ok, until i thought at the end of the day, marriage (sex) is always between two people, no matter how many people are in the room. 1 part to 1 part. No matter how many partners, there can only be a man and a wombman. Monogamy is the only leveled way. Thanks again, Much Love.

      1. What is the name of the culture that the speaker talks about in this video? I want to learn more but I need to know how to spell it first!

      2. Peace,

        The speaker is Odwirafo. He tends to focus on Akan and Kmt (Ancient Egypt) but he also utilizes other African cultures to give a holistic view on African culture in general.

        Your best bet is to read through Odwirafo’s literature to see from where he is coming.

  5. Well , i have read your opinion and as an African i disagree that Islam brought polygamy into Africa . From our African point of view it is important for you to note that the first Muslims were Africans . And also note that during that age the whole of the middle east and the arab gulf was African land and the suez canal did not exist . So you must now be able to know that not only Islam is based on African culture but also christianity unless you never read the old testament . In Africa we have always been polygamous and our Boys have always circumcised , not because of sexually transmitted diseases but as a cultural promotion from one ageset to another . We have many Africans in Africa who are neither muslims nor Christians but they are polygamous .

    1. Peace,

      You are at liberty to disagree. I quote Cheikh Ante Diop. However, the evidence he uses it undeniable. You do not see relics of the past pre-Islam which denote Polygamy to the degree that you see relics of the past which denote Monogamy.

      The peoples in Africa today who are polygamous are so after the influence of Islam. As today is a time frame after the influence of Islam. What’s more, when you review the spiritual forces in Africa i.e. the Ntr, the Abosom, the Orisha and so forth, most all of them are monogamous.

      Yes Africans practiced circumcision. But no Islam isn’t African. Much the same as “Greek Philosophy” isn’t African. You can say it’s based off of it. You can say the first practitioners. But it’s not African. It’s a perversion and a corruption.

      An African spiritual system is an African spiritual system. As to the African Arabia. This is true up to a point. The indigenous Africans were displaced from Arabia by invaders.

      You seem to know much truth, but you also seem unwilling to commit to the full truth. You also may be jumbling dates. No one denies that there are polygamous in Africa today. It’s only a question of when/where did they come?

      1. What about the other scholars and/or anthropologist and historians of African culture who say polygamy is very African? Like Dr. Ben and Dr. Clarke? These are both men who are very big in the black conscious community and sometimes they are only who these brothers listen to. I’ve heard Dr. Ben say “the only thing better than a black woman is two black women.” How does a black woman that doesn’t want polygamy argue against that with the man she loves who very much wants polygamy?

      2. Peace,

        I am unfamiliar with either Dr. Ben or Dr. Clarke claiming that polygamy is very African. As I understand your quote from Dr. Ben, he’s repeating a familiar idiomatic recipe “The only thing better than one thing is two things” and inserting ‘Black woman.” If you would familiarize me with other claims, I may better be able to understand what you mean.

        However, as far as how a woman can argue against a man with a discordant viewpoint; I’m sorry but I’ve come to learn that, that is a moot point. This is an excellent audio on polygamy that can assist you: http://www.odwirafo.com/maakheruda9.mp3; but usually, if two people strongly disagree, there’s nothing either of them can do for the other to convince the other.

        You can learn that the hard way in ‘marriage’–or ‘leave him in error who loves his error.’

        The world is complicated. But truly you should only do what you need to do to keep your family strong. I know of men and women who disagreed on the polygamy question and broke up over it–both now happier for it. I know of men and women who agreed on monogamy and broke up over it–both happier for it. The answers for your life are within you.

        I recommend you study ancient proverbs. I reposted a few here: https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/kmt-self-knowledge-and-cosmic-wisdom-quotations/

        Feel free to ask another question!

    2. Greetings Kilonzo,
      This is a little off the subject. I need a little help. There was a story passed down in my family that when my G-G-Grandfather was “emancipated” in 1870 he changed the family surname to Kilonzo because he said the name given to him was a slave name. I assumed it was a myth until I actually saw in the census where he did change the name to Kilonzo. Over the following decades the name was altered, misspelled and just kind of disappeared. I see from reading your post that you identify yourself as AfriKan, can you tell me something about this name? I have searched everywhere and cannot find anything.

  6. To me, you wrong. My ancestors in Ghana practiced polygamy before any of this foreign religions touched us. Check out documentary: African Cats. The lions once imitated us.

    1. Peace,

      Islam has been in Ghana for at least five-hundred years; it has been in Africa for more than one-thousand. Foreign religions have been present in Africa for so long, it’s hard to discern what was indigenous and what was foreign. Still, according to records Africa was monogamous. Though ‘polygamy’ is present in ‘cats’ (in a sense) the polygamous social organization that cats have doesn’t parallel the social organization of our ancestors. I.e. we don’t oust men from their families through violence or kill the sons of our wives or sleep with our daughters.

  7. Polygyny is Afrikan, and has always been a part of Afrikan marriage systems. We find polygyny practice among the people with the oldest DNA, the Khoisan, Sandawe, Hadzabe, and Mbuti/Twa. But Diop is correct, it has never been the most prevalent form of marriage; it nevertheless has alway existed. Thus, Afrikan marriages consisted of monogamy as the rule and polygyny for those that had the wealth to afford it.There was never a prohibition against polygyny, which is what is happening now as a result of Westernization and feminism.

    1. Peace Brother,

      That is well articulated. But as it stands, Africans must ‘go back to basics.’ I understand the want and desire to do ‘advanced’ things; but we barely even have a handful of MEN in the Black population. The talk of ‘polygyny’ is putting the cart before the horse.

  8. I completely agree. My husband wants polygyny, but I refuse. Thus we will probably divorce. I keep telling him it IS NOT how our ancestors did it back in the day, and anything the white man cosigns on ie the bible, is NOT right. He just wants to have more than one woman I believe…… Its sad.

    1. Peace Sister,

      Look at your relationship in terms of your NEEDS. Do you NEED to be with your husband? If not, then you know what you NEED to do.

      If he NEEDS more than one woman and you don’t NEED another woman then that’s a disagreement and you know how to handle that.

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